Toxicology results likely next week for Hawks staffer Reif

  • A special decal in remembrance of Chicago Blackhawks assistant equipment manager Clint Reif was worn on all the players' helmets during a game that took place just hours after the 34-year-old's passing.

    A special decal in remembrance of Chicago Blackhawks assistant equipment manager Clint Reif was worn on all the players' helmets during a game that took place just hours after the 34-year-old's passing. Courtesy of the Chicago Blackhawks

  • Clint Reif, assistant equipment manager for the Chicago Blackhawks, left, brought the Stanley Cup to Harry Caray's Restaurant in Lombard during his one day with it in 2010. Reif died Dec. 21 at age 34.

    Clint Reif, assistant equipment manager for the Chicago Blackhawks, left, brought the Stanley Cup to Harry Caray's Restaurant in Lombard during his one day with it in 2010. Reif died Dec. 21 at age 34. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 1/1/2015 1:47 PM

Toxicology test results that likely will shed more light on the unexpected death of a Chicago Blackhawks staff member should be ready early next week, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen said Monday.

Assistant Equipment Manager Clint Reif was found unresponsive in his Lombard home and pronounced dead the morning of Dec. 21. He was 34.

 

More than a week later, Reif's death is still painfully fresh in the minds of those who knew him.

Services were held Friday in Villa Park and a flood of "hockey brothers," such as Kevin Kacer, athletic trainer for the Chicago Wolves, came to pay their respects.

"Talk about a happy, fun-loving guy," Kacer said. "I can't think of anybody who has ever, ever had a negative thing to say about him."

Kacer said he first met Reif when he was a "stick boy" for the Fort Wayne Komets in the late 1990s.

He remembered Reif later worked as an assistant equipment manager for the Orlando Solar Bears, including the year the team beat the Wolves in the Turner Cup Finals.

Reif signed a two-year contract with the Wolves in 2005, but after one season the Blackhawks asked if he could fill an open position on their equipment team, Kacer said.

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"We're not going to deny anybody the opportunity to move up to the NHL," Kacer said.

From making coffee and folding towels to sharpening skates and cutting down hockey sticks, the work Reif did was "all behind the scenes stuff," Kacer said.

"We're the first guys at the rink in the morning and we're the last guys to leave at night," he said. "You name it, we do it. Clint was the go-to guy. He was one of those guys you didn't have to ask twice."

During the hockey season, Reif often saw the players more than he saw his own family, Kacer said.

"It's a camaraderie that's hard to explain," he said. "You're with these guys every day and more so at the NHL level because those guys are with the team usually for a longer amount of time."

Still, Kacer said Reif's wife and four kids were most important to him.

"Every picture you look at he's got a smile on his face, especially the pictures where he's around his family," he said. "He was loved by everybody that knew him."

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